Understanding the German railways system - a comprehensive guide

Until the early 1990s the “Deutsche Bundesbahn” (German Federal Railways) a state owned enterprise held a monopoly on the railroad traffic in Germany. Then the traffic was privatised and the “Deutsche Bundesbahn” became a regular enterprise and called itself “Deutsche Bahn” (German Railways) with the same abbreviation it also used before “DB”. But nowadays you’ll also find private railway companies throughout Germany. Usually they serve lines that were abandoned by the DB after the privatisation. Especially in Munich you will also see trains from other countries, operated by the specific state railways. All this can be somehow confusing as a non-european tourist, especially when you have to buy tickets. So here is a comprehensive guide to the German railway system.

The different railway companies

Today there are many different railway companies

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